From The Characteristics Of The Salafi Is Humbleness – Shaykh ‘Arafat Muhammady
Bismillah wa-Alhamdulillah wa Salaatu wa Salaam ‘alaa Rasulillah ‘amma ba’d
As part of our six-day Islaamic Course with our brother Abu Hakeem Bilaal Davis (MayAllah Preserve Him) entitled, “The Principles of Salafiyyah and The Distinguishing Characteristics of The Salafi“, Muwahhideen Publications hosted a LIVE tele-link lecture on Sunday 22nd February 2015 with Shaykh ‘Arafat Muhammady who is from the mashaayikhbased in Madeenah, KSA, May Allah Preserve Him.
This lecture event was translated LIVE into English.
• From the things we have been commanded with is that we lower the wing of humility to the believers. This is something that the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself was commanded with from his Lord.
“And be kind and humble to the believers who follow you.” [Soorah ash-Shu’ara 26:215]
• Allah commanded him with this humility and he certainly implemented that. He used to sit between his Companions as though he was one of them. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No Prophet was sent except that he would shepherd sheep” – which is an indication of them being nurtured upon this humility – They said: “Even you O Messenger ofAllah?” He said: “Even me. I used to shepherd them for a payment from the people of Makkah.”
• The affair of his humility reached the stage that there was no door that the Messenger would close upon an individual. He was easily accessible, he used to sit upon the ground and he would eat, he would ride donkeys and he would lick his fingers after he would eat a meal. And the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever seeks other my Sunnah is not from me.”
• It was reported in Abu Daawood and Tirmidhee that the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was walking and a man passed him with a donkey and said: “Get on O Messenger ofAllah!” And so the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, you have more right to the back of your donkey than me.” The man said: “Indeed I have preserved it for you O Messenger of Allah.” So the Messenger rode on the back of the donkey.
• ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas (radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) was approached by some of his students and they asked him to inform them of the characteristics of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for indeed they have heard that he is described in the Tawraat. He said: “Yes, indeed he has been described with some of the characteristics Allah described him with in the Qur’aan.” Allah says:
“O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner” [Soorah al-Ahzab 33:45]
• Similarly, he is described in the Tawraat with the noble characteristics that we find in the Book of Allah. From them is that he is not harsh or hard of heart, neither is he one who used to waste time in market places; nor is he one who repels evil with evil but indeed he pardons and forgives. So we find that this is similarly the case when we look at his description in theQur’aan. He was merciful, clement and gentle. He was not known to have bad character and bad manners. Allah mentions:
“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about you” [Soorah Aali ‘Imraan 3:159]
• On an occasion when the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was giving thekhutbah he said: “Indeed Allah had revealed to me that you should be humble; that no one raises himself arrogantly over another and no one transgresses over another.”
• These are some of the characteristics of the Messenger and indeed if we were to discuss the manifestation of his humility there is no doubt that the affair will be very lengthy – that which is related to his household, how he dealt with the people, his family, his Companions and the different arenas where this humility has been narrated.
• It is upon the student of knowledge to know that Allah has chosen him and given him something special. Allah has selected him with knowledge, which is something that is blessed. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever Allah wants good for He gives him understanding of the Deen.”
• He should give thanks for that and be humble on the basis of it. Firstly, he is humble to his Lord and the people – those who are superior to him and older and more knowledgeable, and those who have preceded him in da’wah. He should be humble to his ‘ulamaa` and those who he has benefited from, else he would have caused much to go to waste.
• Mujaahid (rahimahullah) mentions that there are two people who will not benefit. The first is the one who is shy so this shyness causes him to lose out on benefit, and this is shyness that is not praiseworthy. The second is the mutakabbir (the one who is haughty, proud and arrogant). He will not benefit because he is not humble with the ‘ulamaa` nor is he humble with the people.
• From the affairs that the student of knowledge should concentrate upon is that he studies the Seerah and analyse how the Messenger was and how he used to humble himself. When‘Aa`ishah (radhiyAllahu ‘anhaa) was asked concerning his affair in his house she said that he (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was one who was busy serving his family and when the prayer would be established he would leave for salaah. Another narration states he used to repair and sew his own thawb and he would repair his own sandals.
• It is for the student of knowledge specifically and the Muslim in general to emulate the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in this humbleness. He was not too proud to walk with the slaves and the poor, to the extent that some narrations mention that the young children would hold on to his hand and pull him, and he would allow them to do so – the pinnacle of humility, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
• We observe as it relates to this humility that he was humble with his Companions and he would visit them. On an occasion he visited Jaabir (radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) when he was ill and made wudhoo’ and sprinkled the water upon him. Likewise, he visited S’ad Ibn Abee Waqqaas (radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) walking on foot and he made du’aa for him saying: “O Allah establish for him his hijrah.”
• When the black woman who would take care of the masjid passed away and the Companions buried her, the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked why did they not inform him of her death and he asked to be shown where her grave is and he thus prayedjanaazah over her.
• When ‘Aa`ishah freed Bareerah – who was a slave – her husband Mugheeth was in pursuit of her and the continuation of their marriage so the Messenger interceded for Mugheethsaying: “O Bareerah, fear Allah. He (Mugheeth) is your husband and he is the father of your children.” She said: “O Messenger of Allah, are you commanding me or interceding?” He said: “Verily I am only interceding.” So she said: “Verily I have no need for him.”
• In another narration it is mentioned that Mugheeth was following Bareerah around theka’bah and the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Would you not be amazed at the love of Mugheeth for Bareerah?” This indicates the good character and manners of the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his humility.
• It is upon the student of knowledge to be cautious of not looking down upon the people and belittling those who are lesser than him in knowledge. This one who he belittles, he was like him once upon a time so how does he belittle one whose stage he was at before Allahblessed him with knowledge and taught him that which he knew not.
• So why does a person seek knowledge and study? He studies to humble himself, and he is humbled by knowledge. Not that he becomes from the tyrants, despots and the arrogant. That knowledge humbles him and causes him to be filled with humility and he knows that this is from the greatest of his acts of worship.
• The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to pass by the children and give themsalaam, which indicated the humility of the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). And that is so those children would learn the affair of the salaam and they would see and observe the humility of the Messenger and be nurtured upon it. On the basis of that, Anas Ibn Maalik(radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) would likewise greet the children with salaam and would say that verily the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do so.
• From the young children are those whom the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would play with and they urinated upon him and he did nothing other than call for some water and purified the area. Zaynab Bint Humayd (radhiyAllahu ‘anhaa) brought her child to the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, allow him to give you the pledge of allegiance.” The Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded that he was too young, so he rubbed him on his head and he made du’aa for him.
• The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would be humble with his Companions and sit with them as if he was one of them to the extent that one of the Bedouins will come from the desert and not know which is Muhammad, so he would say: “Which one of you isMuhammad?” And someone would say: “That white man who is sitting over there; the white faced man who is bright and beautiful.”
• He did not sit with the sittings of kings or great statesmen. He did not have a specific garment he would wear; neither would he wear a crown or anything that would cause him to be distinct from anyone else. The stranger would have to ask who Muhammad was.
• On an occasion the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by a gravesite where a woman crying. He said to her: “Fear Allah and be patient.” She responded: “Go away from me for you have not been afflicted with my calamity!” It was later said to her that that was the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) so she went to his house and informed him that she did not know it was him whereupon he replied: “Verily patience is required when the calamity first hits.”
• He himself used to say: “No one humbles himself for Allah except that Allah raises him.”He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) likewise said: “Those who are arrogant will be raised like ants on the Day of Judgement.”
• Just as the affair of humility causes a person to be raised and just as the arrogant is in actuality a lowly individual, we find that the affair of humility is something that causes a person to be high, it raises him. May Allah have mercy upon the individual that humbles himself to the truth. As it occurs in some lines of poetry:
Be humble and you will be like the sun manifest to the one who observes upon the surface of the water even though it is high
And do not be like dukhaan (smoke) that rises by itself up into the atmosphere, while it is a lowly base substance
• It comes in the Tabaqaat of Ibn S’ad that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to eat just as a servant eats. He said: “I eat as a servant eats and I sit as a servant sits for indeed I am a servant.” He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) likewise said, as reported inSaheeh al-Bukhaaree: “If I was invited to the hoof of an animal then I would respond.”
• This is indicative of the humility of the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). If he was invited to something that was very meagre he would still respond to that, and all of this returns to his humility. The hoof was something small and the invite itself indicated that the person who did so had love for him, so he would respond and answer those invitations. Indeed Allah loves His servant who is generous and loves that from His servant just as He dislikes that His servant is miserly.
• It is a must that we know that the ‘ulamaa` are upon this humility. And how can that not be the case when they are the inheritors of the Prophets, as the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned. They have inherited from them this knowledge and so they are known for their firm footing in knowledge just as Allah mentioned:
“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.” [Soorah Faatir 35:28]
• They are the ones who are known with these characteristics and they do not in any way, shape or form pander after the dunyaa. Rather, they manifest these characteristics and they are the ‘ulamaa` on the basis of the manifestation of these characteristics.
• Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) mentions that whoever has acceptance among the people and is known for truthfulness, then he is from the Imaams of guidance. Whoever has the statement that is accepted and is known for his truthfulness, then he is from the leaders of guidance. Indeed this is no doubt from the wisdom of Allah and so, it is not from wisdom that you do not seek anyone but yourself and that one is self-conceited. Rather this is something that should be refrained from, and it is a despicable characteristic. Allahmentions:
“And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).” [Soorah as-Sajdah 32:24]
• That is what this characteristic necessitates. So one follows the Prophets and the Messengers and by necessity the more a person increased in knowledge, the more he should increase in humility. He is not full of himself, being full of pride and arrogance; rather the more he grows in knowledge the more humble he becomes. If a person analyses the lives of our great ‘ulamaa` of the past he would see many examples of this and before them – of course – the Prophets and the Messengers.
• There occurs in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad on the authority of Anas Ibn Maalik that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to dislike that the Companions stood for him. They mentioned that there is no one they wished they could stand for more than the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) but they refrained from doing so based on their knowledge of his dislike for that.
• From his humility is that he disliked that the people should mention him over and above the other Prophets. He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not give me preference over Moosaa” – even though he was better than Moosaa. He was the best of the Prophets and Messengers but he would advise his Companions: “Do not give me precedence over Moosaa.”
• He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “We have more right to have doubt than Ibraaheem.” Which is in reference to the statement of Allah when Ibraaheem asked:
“My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:260]
• The Messenger likewise said: “I do not say that anyone is better than Yoonus.” This is another narration wherein he praised one of the Prophets over himself.
• We have numerous examples of the Messenger, that though he was greater than them all (the Prophets and the Messengers) he still showed and taught his Ummah humility and prevented them praising him over and above the rest them.
• Therefore, it is upon the student of knowledge that he does not put himself forward. Rather he is a person who is humble and he is not haughty with his brothers and the people; he is humbled by knowledge.
• You student of knowledge! You should be humble and look at these examples that have passed, examples that we should follow.
• We ask Allah to make us from those who are humble, those who lower their wing for the Sake of Allah, and indeed Allah is able to do that and He has full ability over it.
Wa Billahi Tawfeeq
Wa SallAllahu wa Sallama wa Barak ‘alaa Nabiyyinaa Muhammad wa ‘alaa ‘Alyhi wa Sahbyhi wa Sallam
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